Road deaths remain high

The number of deaths on Greek roads in the first four months of 2008 dropped 11 percent compared to the previous year, falling well short of the government’s targeted 50 percent reduction, according to the Interior Ministry. Ministry data released yesterday showed that 65 percent of those killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seat belt or helmet, while the diversion of driver attention is also a main cause of fatal collisions. Deputy Interior Minister Panayiotis Hinofotis called on all the bodies involved in traffic supervision to help in the drive to improve safety. Police recorded a total of 1,449 road deaths last year, slightly down from 1,493 in 2006. In a bid to tame unruly drivers, the government last year introduced tougher penalties on those caught breaching traffic regulations, with fines increasing by as much as 400 percent.